The importance of tourism and investment: Why you should be an ambassador for the KZN South Coast

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The vast natural beauty, year-round warm climate and enticing facilities of the KZN South Coast combine to create a region that is poised for local and international investment. However, the true selling point of this area is its local communities who will be the real beneficiaries of this economic boost.

“The recent amalgamation of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) and Ugu South Coast Development Agency (USCDA) has created a strong entity to attract massive investment to the region while growing our tourism economy,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE), the official economic development arm of the region.

“But it must be said that no matter how much marketing, support and development we provide, we rely on the support of our local residents, business owners and communities in achieving our goals. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to take on the role as KZN South Coast ambassadors!”

And there are compelling reasons why potential investors are looking to the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom when considering development opportunities. In terms of tourism offerings, SCTIE has been extensively marketing a number of key attractions unique to the region. These include the fact that the KZN South Coast has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in KZN; two world-renowned dive sites at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks; two iconic gorges – Oribi Gorge and Umtamvuna Gorge; 11 quality golf courses; front-row seats to the annual Sardine Run; and the smallest desert on Earth – the Red Desert.

These offerings are great for packaging the region as a ‘bleisure’ destination, which is supported by the creation of the local Meeting Planner Guide – a one-stop business directory – which was launched at the Meetings Africa exhibition earlier this year. The creation of the VIC (visitor information centre) portal has also proven incredibly beneficial to tourists, alongside the re-launch of the interactive App which keeps visitors updated on all the latest tourism offerings.

SCTIE also provides training and business support to emerging operators to create unique and authentic rural tourism experiences. Some of the recent developments include the upgraded KwaXolo Caves Adventures; Agri-CULTURE Tours in the farmlands; as well as the seven-day Umzumbe River Trail stopping over at rural homesteads.

Beyond the expansive tourism offerings, the KZN South Coast is also being primed as a top investment destination across a number of sectors. This is supported by the SCTIE partnership with Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) to establish a One Stop Shop office on the KZN South Coast. This partnership will improve efficiency of business operations, reduce barriers to investment and facilitate both local and international relations with local business and government.

Further to this is the establishment of an SMME Outreach Programme for small rural-based businesses in Ugu District, led by recently elected KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube. This programme aims to transform the region into a bustling hive of economic activity following the downturn during the pandemic and lockdown.

And progress is already being made. Considering the region’s natural attributes, year-round warm weather and great facilities – the KZN South Coast boasts prime real estate with potential for in-demand housing estates, schools and coastal resorts. This has already started with the green light given for Tweni’s John Mason Park R640-million mixed-use project involving a number of key stakeholders. The development is set to include residential units, a conference facility, apartments, offices, a hotel, gym, amphitheatre, waterpark, skate park, public auditorium and restaurant facilities.

The KZN South Coast’s potential as a key film destination has already been established, having hosted international film crews for wildlife documentaries, as well as setting the scene for international films and local shows – including SABC 3’s The Longest Date and ‘Trippin’ with the Kandasamys’.

This subtropical haven, with its exceptional soil quality, is also attracting agricultural investments, with manufacturing and retail opportunities abundant. The ‘blue economy’ offered by the Indian Ocean is also poised for the creation of sustainable fisheries, renewable energy production, and maritime transport supporting a soon-to-be thriving logistics sector.

“This is really a time for renewal, for re-establishing the KZN South Coast as a prime tourism and investment destination,” continued Mangcu. “Everything is lining up, it’s really just a case of everyone playing their part in being KZN South Coast ambassadors. This means supporting clean town campaigns, supporting local operators and sharing the many positive attributes online, via social media and word-of-mouth. By working together, we can showcase the unlimited opportunities on the KZN South Coast for the benefit of all.”

Share the tourism and investment opportunities of the KZN South Coast by encouraging more people to download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores; visit the ‘South Coast Tourism’ on Facebook or YouTube; @infosouthcoast on Twitter or Instagram; ‘Info Ugu South Coast Tourism’ on LinkedIn; to check out the Events Calendar, the KZN South Coast Meeting Planner Guide and more!

To access previous SCTIE press releases, visit: